I went to Anna Hazare’s hunger fast.The audience comprised a few khadi clad, old timers, three youngsters and two representatives of PETA. I asked the youngsters what had motivated them to come and support Anna. “Nahi nahi, we’re not here for the hunger fast. We’ve come for the rock show in the next maidan, the gates haven’t opened, so we thought we’d hang here for a bit,” one of them answered, humming Kolveri Di.
This was definitely a worrying trend. Such few people for a man like Mr Hazare. I went up on stage, and sought out the Celebrity Activist. “Anna, I think you need a reality check — look around you, this very space was packed to the rafters, just last August. Now there are more people on stage than in the audience. You need to figure out what you want to do, after your fasting days are over. You need a new gig, dude.”
Baba Ramdev let out a series of odd sounds. I thought he was objecting, till I realised that he was doing some breathing exercises. I continued. “Mr Hazare, you need to leverage Brand Anna to the fullest, before there is no brand left and you become an activist with no agenda.” “Do you have any ideas?” a noticeably worried Anna asked me.
“Yes, Annasaheb, I would like to share some thoughts with you, but in private,” I said, looking meaningfully at Kiran Bedi. “Shoot,” Kiran Bedi said, aiming a phone camera at me, with no intention of leaving. I shrugged my shoulders and shared my plans with Team Anna. “I have plans for a blockbuster movie,” I announced. “It will be in keeping with your image and your humble beginnings. The movie opens in a village. A village belle has three sons, who get separated at birth and find themselves in Mumbai city. They grow up — one becomes an activist, the second a lawyer and the third becomes a police inspector. Together they decide to take on the forces of corruption.”
“Who will the play the role of Annaji ?” Ashok Kejriwal whispered to me. “We are in talks with several Bollywood actors”, I said. “Why not Hollywood actors also? After all, Annasahib is a world figure now. My suggestion is that Brad Pitt should essay the role of Anna. Then we can request Angelina Jolie to play my role,” Kiran Bedi suggested.
Baba Ramdev had finished his breathing exercises. “Who do you have in mind for my role?” he demanded. “Uh sir, I was not thinking of you in this film, since I have no idea how long your alliance with Team Anna will last.”
Baba retorted, “Ok, maybe you could consider a twelve part TV serial on me. I change allegiances so fast that each episode is the story of me with a new political partner.” Prashant Bhushan asked the final question, “What will the film be titled?”
I answered, “ANNA AKBAR ANTHONY.”
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper